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August is Children Eye Health and Safety Month

Children Eye Health is Worth Remembering this August!

It’s that time again…preparing to send the kids back to school. One particular area of children’s health that should not be ignored is their eyes.

August was first declared Vision & Learning Month in 1995. The overall goal of this national observance is to help increase awareness among parents and educators on the prevalence of undiagnosed or misdiagnosed vision problems. Due to the incomplete nature of in-school children eye health screenings, many vision problems can be missed completely or misdiagnosed as other conditions like ADHD. Children who grow up with undiagnosed vision problems are often unaware that what they see is abnormal, and that means they don’t know to ask for help.

As America Recognizes Children Eye Health and Safety Month, now is the time to get your children’s eyes checked before school starts up again – or at least before they get too far into the new school year, depending on where you live. To help parents keep their children’s eyes healthy, The American Optometric Association (AOA) has established several helpful guidelines and signs to look for to determine vision problems:

  • An infant’s first comprehensive eye exam should be when they are about 6 months old.
  • The second exam should be at age 3.
  • The next eye exam should be at age 5 or 6, before the child enters either kindergarten or first grade.
  • Eye exams should then take place every two years after the pre-kindergarten/first grade exam.

In between these scheduled eye exams, parents should monitor children eye health for potential vision problems, including:

  • Frequently rubbing eyes.
  • Squinting to focus on objects.
  • Holding reading materials close to the face.
  • Frequent blinking.
  • Tilting or turning their head to look at objects.
  • Wandering eyes, especially when talking directly to someone else.
  • Covering one eye.
  • Disinterest in reading or even looking at objects from a distance.

If you notice one or more of these signs, schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist or optometrist soon.

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